'The Joker' vs. 'Tails': The Discourses and Counter Discourses of Tishreen Protest on Iraqi Social Media Platforms
Keywords:Joker, tails, Tishreen, protest, Iran, USA
This research aims to investigate the discourses and counter-discourses surrounding the Iraqi protests on social media, shedding light on the main discourses and counter discourses recurring themes and topics that emerged during this period of intense public mobilization. By analyzing the content, language, and patterns of communication on various social media platforms, this study seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of the discursive dynamics and the impact of digital spaces on the protest movement. To achieve this aim, Wodak and Meyer's (2016) Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) under the umbrella of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) that examines the Self and Other (mis)representation of social groups has been adopted in this study. The findings show that the protesters are constructed by anti-protest social media users negatively as Joker's followers in reference to the psychopath movie character Joker who is involved in a downward spiral of bloody crimes. They are also, constructed of being agents to a foreign super power as well as constructing protesters as Saddamists or Saddam's orphans among many other constructions that are aimed to demonize them. On the other hand, the pro-protests social media users, as well as protesters, have constructed some Iraqi officials, militias and anti-protest users as being tails of Iran who are executing Iran's agenda in Iraq and being proxies to other countries.